After a report like yesterdays, I couldn’t wait to get on the river with Bobby and Mark this morning chasing those big Connecticut River crappie! The few rivers that we crossed this morning on the way to the launch had our nerves working overtime. The water looked like chocolate milk and was flowing fast. We didn’t dare check river gauges this morning because we thought we thought it would scare us out of wanting to go. We figured it would be better wasting a day on the river than at home twiddling our thumbs.
Upon arrival, the current was faster than normal but the water still had some clarity to it. We packed the boat for the days trip and lunched it quick. The water in the main flow was a cool 49 degrees. As we made our way out of the current, the water warmed and we ended the day hitting close to 57 degrees. We figured we would try the productive spots from the day before first so we motored right in.
It didn’t take long to realize the fish had moved. We fished shallow and deep but nothing seemed to trigger the fish. Between the two spots that were good yesterday, I think we caught one decent bluegill. Not knowing exactly what to do next we adjusted our bobber depths trying to find the right depth.
We worked the shore line quite a ways until I hooked into the first crappie. It was a decent one. Right around the 11″ mark. I pulled this one suspended 2.5 feet down in 5-6 feet of water. The key to the location was an inside turn in the main channel off a main point.The fish were cruising through the channels today, mainly in 8-9 feet of water and this turn was a natural corridor where two channels converged. The fish threw us for a curve after being so shallow yesterday and relating to structure. The drop in water temperature really screwed with the fish patterns in the past 24 hours!
Throughout the rest of the day we would work this spot until the bite died and move on but then return when we thought the fish had recharged. Because of the location we caught the crappie, we figured we should fish another inside turn that was much more gradual with more weeds adjacent. The area we were fishing was wiped clean of weeds last year between the two flooding events that hit the northeas.
We began fishing the turn and it didn’t take long to get on the fish. We found them to be a bit shallower. We had our bobbers set around 4 feet but the fish were holding in 4 feet of less. After a slight adjustment, we were all cranking on them. We were tossing back gills that would be trophies on most bodies of water around the state! If you can find a pod of these guys on the river you won’t be disappointed!
Even though we didn’t get to pound on the crappie, we caught some nice ones. Of the 10 total that be got in the boat, eight were 9″ or bigger. Bluegill on the other hand were crazy! In the days honey holes, it was one right after another. I don’t think we caught any gills under 7.5″ with the majority being 8″ or better. Several were 9″ or better and a few were in the 10″ class. We also caught a few perch, bass, and one lonely pumpkinseed!
Once again, we had the majority of our success today on the Lake Fork “Live” Baby Shad. Chartreuse was a good color choice today as well as “Hot Cricket”. The fish were a bit more picky but as long as the bait was bouncing, the fish would attack it when you found a pocket of them. It took a while to find a school that was worth sticking around for though.
Back at it in the morning!